Many companies would say that they "work hard and play hard," but some companies actually combine the two. By helping people discover new restaurants, try unique activities, escape to cool travel destinations, and get access to the best events, companies like LivingSocial, Groupon, and Yelp are in the business of having fun.
So, what's it like to work at a place like this? Could it really be all fun all the time?
We peeked inside the doors of five fun-loving companies to get the scoop—and we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Where: Washington, DC
LivingSocial helps its members discover amazing experiences—from weekend trips to gourmet dinners to one-of-a-kind events—all at uniquely low prices.
And the company is committed to creating amazing experiences for its employees, too. Take the recent “Sumo, Sushi, and Sake" event, where the team flew in world-class sumo wrestlers to do demonstrations while staffers enjoyed delicious food and drink. “Even when the clock stops, people are still here socializing, helping each other out, and enjoying the atmosphere in general,” says Account Manager Nicolle McCarty.
Groupon employees all share a similar sense of adventure and excitement to try new things, and they’re all big fans of buying Groupons. It’s not uncommon for employees to pick out a deal and go out together to check it out—if you want to try skydiving or the new burger joint in town, you can probably find someone to go with you.
But Grouponers have fun in the office, too. Whether it’s cueing up an orchestra at a big meeting to keep the speakers on time or having 2nd graders read out employees awards, Groupon approaches corporate culture with its own unique twist.
Where: San Francisco
Yelp helps its members locate local hot spots, events, and hidden gems, and it provides them with instant access to millions of reviews from its community.
And that community includes its own employees: Yelpers are passionate about using their own product to help them discover the best their cities (and other cities) have to offer. “I was a big fan of Yelp before working here, so sharing the Yelp experience in different countries and seeing the Yelp app develop is very exciting for me,” says Software Engineer Jorge Gonzales, who used Yelp when he got lost hiking in Hawaii. The app directed him to a nearby Mexican restaurant where he not only enjoyed phenomenal fish tacos, but also made friends with the owner—and he was able to write a glowing review of his own to point other travelers that way.
Where: New York
HowAboutWe takes a whole new approach to online dating: It’s all about the date. Users post and browse date ideas (“How about we… take the Staten Island Ferry at sunset and then grab drinks?”), and find each other based on shared interests. And its newest product, HowAboutWe Couples, helps twosomes discover awesome date ideas in their cities.
The great thing about hearing about all these date ideas is being able to use them for company events: HowAboutWe staffers plan monthly team events like poker tournaments, bowling, and paintball. Says Product Manager Ruti Wajnberg, “Maybe because of the nature of our product, [the people here are] some of the most fun-loving people I’ve ever worked with.”
Where: New York
SeatGeek aggregates dozens of ticket sellers—StubHub, eBay, TicketsNow, and more—and lets people search for the best deals for tickets to concerts, theater, and sporting events.
SeatGeek's employees get to take advantage of these deals, too. At 6:30 PM each night, staffer Steve Ritter will check SeatGeek to see if he can get tickets below face value for any shows happening that night. Last year, he went to 82 concerts, and this year, he's set to beat that number.
The team also enjoys in-the-office fun: Think spur-of-the-moment Nerf basketball games, crazy competitive ping-pong tournaments, after-work bowling, Xbox wars, and regular events planned by the official Social Chair, Eric.
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